What is better? Coding or app?

raghavjhawar
Tourist
33 0 2

Hello,
What is better? Adding an app for a feature I need or getting it coded?
While deciding, what all factors should I consider?

Jason
Shopify Expert
10360 158 2011

Great apps will let you avoid the work of coding, maintenance and installation so will give you a much faster feature release. Apps will be opinionated in what they do and often how they look. There will always be a strong case for longer term ROI if you handled it in house. There's really not a right or wrong answer on such a high level question, and over time your business needs may change as will your stance on the approach.

If you do start with apps first, a good thing to consider is what work would be needed to migrate things to your own custom one. For example, does that app have an API for pulling existing data out or will you be starting from scratch. Those things could sway your approach later, and even the app you choose in the first place.

I jump on these forums to help and share some insights. Not looking to be hired, and not looking for work.

Don't hand out staff invites or give admin password to forum members unless absolutely needed. In most cases the help you need can be handled without that.


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tim
Shopify Expert
2927 143 1021

A couple of less obvious things to consider:

a) Apps (usually) add extra javascript code. Unfortunately, many apps are not very responsible and load lots of it -- this will impact your store speed and Page Speed rating;

b) If you implement a feature in theme code, you're stuck with this version of the theme. A year or two later you'd need to re-implement it in new version of the theme/different theme. Apps are (usually) much easier in this aspect. (Unless you had it in mind while adding initial code).

Want to hire me to tweak a theme? Mail me at tairli@yahoo.com!
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phil_CM
Excursionist
76 1 4

@tim wrote:

A couple of less obvious things to consider:

b) If you implement a feature in theme code, you're stuck with this version of the theme. A year or two later you'd need to re-implement it in new version of the theme/different theme. Apps are (usually) much easier in this aspect. (Unless you had it in mind while adding initial code).


Sorry to jump in on this but is something I have been wondering..

Tim, i've made a few changes and want to make sure that any upgrades etc don't overwrite what I have done. Are we in control of upgrades etc or do they happen automatically? what are the best practices for me implementing my changes? With snippets for example? Should I take manual backups of files that I have modified on my theme?

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tim
Shopify Expert
2927 143 1021

Generally, the answer is here: https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/online-store/themes/managing-themes/updating-themes 

In short -- after you've made any edits to the theme code or installed an app which changed the code, your theme is no longer automatically updated.

It is now your responsibility to update your theme. So when editing code try to think about what would be the easiest way to re-apply this change after theme update, and keep a list of changes in case you'd want to ask someone to do it for you (does not need to be very detailed though).

Some theme developers offer an App to update their themes and preserve the edits, but this does not always work automatically. 

On the other hand -- there is no need to update your theme every time it's updated by the theme author. Say, you may safely skip the update which adds a new language translation if you do not use this language. Or alike. (Unfortunately, Shopify does not publish changelog for their themes, so it makes it a bit more difficult to judge. Other theme authors do).

 

Want to hire me to tweak a theme? Mail me at tairli@yahoo.com!
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phil_CM
Excursionist
76 1 4
Perfect thanks Tim!
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helenmic9
New Member
1 0 0

getting apps and contact support for help

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